Dress Code Debate: It is Time to Switch to Uniforms


Gabrielle Wolin, Perspectives Editor

One of the most debated topics at Morristown Beard is the dress code. From khaki pants to hoodies, the dress code is very diverse and provides many opportunities for self-expression through clothing for students. And with Mrs. Morrison’s recent addition this fall of khaki shorts (for when the weather is above 65 degrees between April and October), the dress code has been the most flexible since it was reinstated last school year. Even though there still are some caveats—like the inability to wear t-shirts and graphic sweatshirts— students can wear any hooded sweatshirt or crewneck as long as there is a form of school spirit or Morristown Beard logo displayed on the sweater. So why is the dress code so controversial? 

Some students feel that the dress code has become too lenient, that it has been revoked from the “prestigious private school image,” while others believe that it has become almost too structured that they cannot find anything in their closet that fits the dress code and is comfortable. At this point, it has become a debate between switching to uniforms or keeping the dress code as it is.

 I personally believe that we should drift away from a dress code and switch completely to a uniform. While having a uniform on campus would reduce self-expression through student clothing, there are many benefits to having a uniform at Morristown Beard. Uniforms would reduce socioeconomic differences between students and would enhance the school pride and unity stressed throughout the campus. As all students of Morristown Beard come from all different backgrounds, wearing a uniform would promote group cohesion and commonality. An example of this is the economic disparity on campus. The economic demographic on campus is so large, yet because of the school name, students are expected to keep up with the “private school kid image.” With a uniform, there would be no pressure to dress to the current design trends and keep up with this image. Likewise, a uniform is also visually appealing. The stress of finding an outfit to wear in the morning that fits the dress code and is comfortable would be completely removed with the addition of uniforms on campus. When speaking to one of my peers, they agreed with me, commenting that “instead of giving us a page-long list of restrictions to what we can’t wear, just give us uniforms instead at this point.”

Jamie Miller, a junior at Morristown Beard, disagrees with me; they believe that we should keep the dress code on campus. Jamie stated how they think that “a lot of people express themselves with their clothing and fashion choices, and having a uniform would take that away.” Unlike the dress code, which has been gender neutral since the 2019-2020 school year, uniforms would enforce the gender binary as “there are two uniforms, one with a skirt and one with pants.” Ultimately the decision between keeping the 131-year-old dress code and switching to a uniform is split down the middle of the student body. At the end of the day, we need a change and hopefully it will be towards uniforms.